The Men Behind the Uniforms

Guy DiMichele, Army, Korean War

“I traveled the world. I went to Africa, from Africa to England, England to Germany, Germany to France.

 I remember, we were in the field in Germany, and a Jeep comes running across the camp. One of my men was a multimillionaire. Being married and having children, he was drafted illegally.[su_pullquote align=”right”]

We took over an orphanage. We snuck over every day with food, movies, and presents.

[/su_pullquote]I get a telegram from the president of the United States that he had to go home, and the next day he was shipped back to the states.
The things you experience in the service are unlike anything else.I learned how to be disciplined, how to take direction.

Of all the places I have been, Germany was my favorite. They were our enemies, but they were good people. While we were there we took over an orphanage. We snuck over every day with food, movies, and presents. When we first got there they would shy away from us, and the last day they were crying in our arms. I honestly have no regrets; I would do it all over.”  


Pete Flores, Navy Seal, Vietnam War

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 “I just loved to travel. I went to Egypt, Turkey, Japan, Korea, and all over. I loved everywhere I went, especially France.

You know, I met the President of France, François Hollande. I was picked to escort him through a celebration for the Statue of Liberties’ 200th birthday in France. [su_pullquote align=”right”]

The service taught me respect, to love people, and to love life.

[/su_pullquote]It was built-in a small town, then shipped over and put together like a puzzle, piece by piece.

The service taught me respect, to love people, and to love life.

My only regret  is picking up Agent Orange in Vietnam. I used to be a sharp-shooter, but I can’t do that anymore. That is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life.

But I try to carry it as an honor. I picked up the disease because my job was to go through an area and make sure it was safe for the rest of the troops. This disease will affect my forever but I did what I had to do to protect my men.”


Joe Ostroski, Navy, Vietnam War

“I found it really interesting in the Navy that once you were on the ship race didn’t matter. Blacks, whites, whatever, we all did the same jobs. Once you joined the Navy you were brothers. It doesn’t matter now, but it was different at the time.

I heard the VFW was helping veterans so I joined to see what it is all about. [su_pullquote align=”right”]

You go in for the flag. That is what’s most important.

[/su_pullquote]If the veterans don’t help the veterans, no one will. You’ve got the World War Two veterans, your Vietnam veterans, Korea veterans, and now we’re starting to get the Afghanistan veterans. The war doesn’t matter; we’re all brothers.

My favorite memory was going out on Liberty with my boys. We worked hard and we played hard. You had to have that equilibrium. Getting to know all the guys was my favorite part.

I once met a guy from Alabama. He said the first time he put shoes on was when he joined the Navy. He used to walk to school barefoot. His name was Barfield. I’ll never forget him.

I learned how many people want to fight for their country. How many people want to protect their freedom. How many people die. For what? Vietnam–58,000 dead. For what? But you go in for the flag. That is what’s most important.”